Aug 24th 2017

AI and their place in Video Games

AI is an important part of gaming. With a good one you can have green turtles that walk off of ledges, and red turtles that turn around at ledges. With modern ones you can get even more complex to where they can even learn how the player interacts with the game and change accordingly, like in Hello Neighbor. It seems games are seen as one of the perfect places to test AI, and not just within games, but playing them as well.

For a while people have had complex AIs play chess against each other to test how well they could think. Well, in 2015 Japan decided to go a step further. Nintendo had added a fun functionality with their Amiibos where they had an AI in them that could play Smash Bros and learn from each match they were in. So, the only logical thing to do was to hold an Amiibo only Smash Bros tournament. Instead of matching wits in a game of chess, these AI were matching wits in a fighting tournament.

Of course, predating this is the annual AIIDE, or StarCraft AI competition. This started in 2010, and the list of bots competing gets larger every year. This uses original Starcraft, and has bots battle it out to the death to see which will reign supreme over the others.

More recently, there was an upset that showed just how far AI has come. At The International, the $24 million Dota 2 tournament held by Valve, a bot from Open AI went head to head against Danylo "Dendi" Ishutin. He is one of the greatest players in the world, and he went up against a $1 billion AI. He was clearly uncomfortable with the idea of going up against the AI, but he still gave the match his all. In the end, the AI came out on top. You can watch the full match in the video below.
Is this the beginning of the end? AI are having their own tournaments, and beating humans in e-sports. I doubt it. Instead it seems like a great place to test the limits of AI, and show just how far they have come. It's one thing to show the knowledge they can store on something like Jeopardy, it's another to make them put it to the test in a game that needs constant input and actions. What do you think? Is it time to start bowing to our robotic overlords, or is this just another great step in scientific achievement? Let me know by tweeting to me @spencerhavens.